First confirmed flu hospitalizations in El Paso County

Special to The Tribune
Posted

Three elderly people and an adolescent have been hospitalized with influenza in El Paso County according to El Paso County Public Health. The first case was reported on Oct.9.

Public Health urges anyone 6 months of age and older to get flu vaccination now. The flu vaccine is safe and offers the best protection currently available against the flu.

During the 2011-2012 flu season 46 people in El Paso County were hospitalized due to flu-related symptoms. Flu activity commonly peaks in January or February. However it can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.

The flu usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:

• Fever (usually high)

• Headache

• Tiredness (can be extreme)

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Body aches

• Diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults)

Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms. Those most at risk for developing flu-related complications are children under two-years of age, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic respiratory disease or who have weakened immune systems.

Flu prevention:

• Get vaccinated against flu

• Stay home if you are sick with flu symptoms. Keep your children home if they are showing signs of illness. You should not return to work or school until 24 hours after a fever ends without the help of fever-reducing medicines.

• Wash your hands frequently (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds)

• Cough or sneeze into a tissue or a sleeve

Find a Flu Shot. To locate a flu shot clinic near you call the Pikes Peak United Way's 2-1-1 information and referral hotline, visit www.immunizecolorado.com or www.elpasocountyhealth.org.

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